Online dating has exploded in its popularity since its creation in 1994. But with online dating comes the fear that you don’t really know who you are talking to. It’s important to protect yourself from who is on the other side of the screen and that you take precautions whilst talking to them.
Not only could your account be used to catfish other people, but you could be catfished yourself. Creating a relationship that you deem to be authentic, they are using methods emotional manipulation to benefit themselves, without any consideration for your emotions. This form of identity theft is incredibly dangerous; accessing your photos, personal information and your location, they can build a wall of lies that they can use to con you out of money or simply fool others into building a relationship with them. The Federal Trade Commission recently reported that due to fraud conducted through online dating, $143 million was lost.
A phenomenon that was made notorious by MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show, it is an issue that needs to be stopped within the world of online dating. So what measures can you take to ensure that you are protected online? Firstly, don't’ give your full name out to the person or put it on your profile. This information can be easily be taken by potential catfishers – plus it makes it easier for them to locate you. Secondly, don’t reveal where you are working – this will make it easier for them to find out who you are. Thirdly, use a different photo of you – i.e one that isn’t on your Facebook/other social media platforms. If you use a photo from your social media profile, catfishes can easily do a Google Image search and find out a lot of information about you. If you run a business, there’s no doubt that you probably promote it over social media. This is undeniably beneficial for your business in many ways, but it can also lead to catfishes finding out more information about you. Monitor who is seeing these posts and the amount of information you give on them.
So those are ways that you can protect yourself, but how can you verify who you are talking to? A clever way is by completing an ID check. These can identify who the person is by comparing their profile against a government-issued document. There are a few dating sites that have handy verification features, but this tends to be for premium users only. Similarly, social media platforms have implemented an algorithm that can identify a fake account. But sometimes this isn’t enough, and this is where an official ID check comes in. Giving you peace of mind and helping to keep you safe in the daunting world of online dating, it’s quick to do and affordable for everyone.
This form of ID verification is also being used in an array of other industries, including those working within recruitment, education, the property market and within the law. It’s the 21st Century method to make sure that you know exactly who you are dealing with – no one wants to conduct business or start a relationship with someone that isn’t who they said they were. The world can be a dangerous place so it’s essential that you are taking all of the precautions you can to remain safe.